Mental Landscape

2013
Platonic, Dani Leventhal

In Dani Leventhal’s Platonic, geometric specters twirl in space; pet cats foam at the mouth; a little boy mistakes his junkie dad for a superhero; and a confused adolescent worries he has sired a centaur. Platonic references both the ancient philosopher’s metaphysics of ideal Forms, which simultaneously exist outside our perceptions and yet give rise to them, and the related meaning in common parlance of non-romantic love.

2003
Pony Changes Everything

A man explains global currency markets without the help of his formerly trusty rockin’ talkin’ pony, who is missing. Without the pony, the world is as disorientating as it is depressing. The audience is invited to help make order of the chaos.

This title is also available on Ben Coonley: Post Pony Trilogy.

2008
Ponytail

This feature-length video follows several inflicted characters and recounts the ways in which they find resolve. A series of entropic scenarios held together by an attraction to failure and its spectacle describe the characters' malfunction - their inability to fulfill personal desire. Compelled by the consequences and rewards of their attempts they question their own trajectory. Using elements of melodrama, performative monologue and traditional narrative structure Ponytail presents a unique society of characters that destroy the distinction between memory and invention.

2003
Poster Girl

As if trapped inside a nightmare, the main protagonist of Poster Girl is haunted by disturbing visions, thoughts and fantasies, which the viewer is privy to. She is joined at various points in the video by another woman, whose role in the narrative remains unclear – is she meant to function as a guardian or a demon? The video further complicates the matter by representing both women as simultaneously wounded and wounding, inviting and threatening, vulnerable and menacing.

2009
Prim Limit

If second lives have grown into the landscape of social network space and avatars engage a full range of human emotions and experience, it follows that they would eventually encounter existential questions. A plot of land is purchased in the online network of SecondLife and a simple questions is asked: Where do discarded 3D objects go and can we build a dumpster to accommodate them? To find out eteam set aside a year to let this virtual land use problem unfold and what is captured in Prim Limit is the lived experience of avatars managing and recording this dumpster.

2004
Public Lighting

How do we tell the story of a life? What cruel reduction of an image will stand (in the obituary, the family photo album, the memory of friends) for the years between a grave and a difficult birth? Public Lighting examines the current media obsession with biography, offering up “the six different kinds of personality” (the obsessive, the narcissist) as case studies and miniatures, possible examples.

2007
Purify

Purify shows a disconnected women washing herself in blood.

2003
Sample City

With sampled image and sound sequences referring to one another in a precisely calculated rhythmic alternation on four projection surfaces, Călin Dan draws a portrait of the city of Bucharest. Dilapidated tower blocks next to estates of terraced houses, Roma families camping with their horses and carts in the wastelands in the midst of the city, broken streets and new shopping paradises--today the formerly communist Bucharest is a city in upheaval, full of social contradictions and oppositions.

2012
Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 2

In her overt challenge to conventional modes of femininity and sexuality, Hester Scheurwater confronts the viewer with her own body. The distorted, doll-like characters she plays in her video performances balance between fantasy and reality shifting between being vulnerable, violent, inviting and threatening. Scheurwater's characters are portrayed as isolated, confused and damaged—physically and emotionally—and unable to connect to their surroundings. Scheurwater’s provocative and unsettling works address relationships, notions of decorum, and the portrayal of women in the media.

2016

Memory, fantasy, and the desiring body. [Extended description to follow]

1999
Shelter

A conversation about marriage and horses between two unseen men.

This title is also available on Donigan Cumming: Controlled Disturbance and Donigan Cumming: Four Short Pieces.

1977
Sirens

Taking its title from the sea nymphs in Homer’s Odyssey—the treacherous spirits whose sweet voices lured sailors to their death upon the rocks—Sirens presents four hallucinatory scenes, visual puns authored by a mischievous agent. Mocking laughter that shatters the illusion and causes viewers to doubt the assumptions implicit in their viewing disrupts stills of what seem to be unpopulated landscapes.

2000
So To Speak

Employing the 'case studies' of Helen Keller, Genie the 'wild child' and Angel at My Table author Janet Frame, Goss's extraordinary video contemplates the struggle to be heard, to break free from the prison of the incommunicable self. '[A] tour of the house and grounds of language,' constructed with beguiling visual spaces and surfaces, startling edits, and insinuatingly layered sound design. —New York Video Festival (2000)

1999
Some Chance Operations

Shot in Naples, Vienna, and New York, Some Chance Operations explores the notion of an archival form, in this instance film, as an unstable memory receptacle that can vanish. History and how it is made is meditated upon as one of many chance operations. The filmmaker Elvira Notari, who had a film production company in Naples from 1906 to 1930, plays a significant role as an impetus for Some Chance Operations. Despite the fact that she was a prolific filmmaker, producing over sixty feature films, only three remain intact.

2005
Someone Behind the Door

A world with no escape... from the surveying cameras, an eye, a presence, always there to control our minds and movements. Looking even for the most secure little movements of life. 

This title is also available on Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.